NEW YORK — Gabriella Forte, a longtime board member of David Yurman, has been named the company’s chief executive officer. The appointment is effective immediately.
This story first appeared in the April 24, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
She reports to cofounders David and Sybil Yurman. David Yurman has been serving as ceo since February 2014 when Glen Senk exited the jewelry and timepiece firm.
“We have long wanted Gabriella in this role. She has a deep understanding of our brand and has provided valuable insights and sage counsel through her advisory board position for many years. Her extensive luxury retail experience in the U.S. and internationally is unmatched in the industry making her the ideal partner to help us continue to grow our global footprint,” said David Yurman.
Forte said she looks forward to working with the Yurmans “and their excellent management team, to fully realize their vision for the business.”
The combination of the Yurmans and Forte unites several strong personalities.
A hard-driving executive, Forte has a wealth of international retail experience, having worked in marketing, distribution and licensing for such luxury brands as Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani. Most recently, she was a senior consultant for Dolce & Gabbana and general manager of their beauty division, having been president and licensing director of Dolce & Gabbana USA. Before that, she was ceo of ibeauty.com, and spent five years at Calvin Klein Inc., where, as president and chief operating officer, she aggressively expanded Klein’s business in Europe.
Earlier in her career, Forte held a key role at Giorgio Armani for 15 years, helping the designer establish a foothold in the American market. As Armani’s executive vice president, she headed the brand’s U.S. operations and served as the designer’s high-profile right-hand woman. In addition to building the U.S. business, she oversaw the designer’s marketing initiatives, retail decisions and image control.
Established in 1980, Yurman is known for its fine jewelry and luxury timepieces for women, men and children. The collections, which include gold and silver designs, diamonds, pearls, gemstones and Swiss-crafted timepieces, are sold at Yurman’s freestanding retail stores, department and specialty stores, as well as fine jewelry and timepiece retailers. The company’s volume is reportedly north of $500 million.